Diamond colour is a Fancy Coloured Diamond’s most significant characteristic. In fact, unlike a colourless diamond where the 4C's (carat weight, clarity, colour, and cut) are all equally important to the overall value, the colour characteristic plays the most important role in the value of the diamond.
With white diamonds the absence of colour is what makes the diamonds so precious. However, in the case of fancy coloured diamonds, the presence of colour and the intensity of how it shines is specifically what increase the value of the stones.
Most of the natural fancy colour diamonds found are not a single or pure colour. Some diamonds have a combination of two, three, and sometimes even four colours within the composition of the stone.
When assessing a fancy coloured diamond there are two major characteristics that define the colour of the stone.
The Colour and The Intensity
Defining the Colour of a Diamond
There are twelve different main fancy colours. Coloured diamonds can contain one single pure colour or be combined with one, two, or even three overtones.
The 12 different main colours of Natural Fancy Coloured Diamonds
Yellow, Pink, Blue, Green, Orange, Brown, Violet, Gray, Purple, Red, Fancy Black, and Fancy White
Defining the Intensity of a Diamond
The intensity of the colour is described as how strong the colour is shown in the diamond. The colour can be anywhere between a soft whisper to a strong vivid shade. GIA developed an intensity scale to properly define the intensity level of the diamond.
Though the carat weight, the cut, and the clarity are all extremely important factors of the diamond quality, the colour and intensity of the diamond are the most relevant characteristics with regards to the value of the stone.
The image shows the different intensity levels of Pink, Blue, and Green diamonds.
Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid and Fancy Deep
The fancy coloured diamond grading scale was developed by the GIA in the mid-1970s. With the growth in popularity of fancy colours, the industry required some sort of a standardized list in order to better define and understand the stones.
Unlike colourless diamonds, because there are so many colour combinations available the decision was made to grade natural fancy coloured diamonds with a description as opposed to a letter.